Will one of the more influential characters in the Star Wars universe be making an appearance in The Mandalorian?
Jon Favreau recently shared this photo on Instagram of a droid that looks strangely familiar…
That sure looks a lot like R5-D4, doesn’t it? For those who are unfamiliar, R5 is the droid that Owen Lars and Luke Skywalker first attempt to buy in A New Hope but which has a bad motivator, leading them to buy R2-D2 instead and set in motion the events of the original trilogy. Like pretty much anything of significance in Star Wars, R5 has actually received a backstory in both canon and in legends, and his story was re-canonized in a short story in the tremendous book “From a Certain Point of View.” R5 came to be on the Sandcrawler with the Jawas but had his memory wiped, and he was then on the Sandcrawler for a while. The night before the encounter at the Lars Homestead, R5 awoke to find R2 trying to disable the droid, explaining that it was vital to the galaxy’s survival that he find his master. R2 explains that he’s a member of the Rebellion (which causes R5 to remember he has some history with the Rebellion), and eventually, as R5 is rolling away after Luke, R2 gives one final desperate cry. Finally, R5 realizes that the droid really is on a crucial mission, so he intentionally had a malfunction so that R2 could complete his mission. After the Sandcrawler was attacked by stormtroopers and the Jawas killed, R5 escaped and went searching for a new owner, hoping to find the Rebellion.
So yes, the droid played a very important role at one moment in history that led to R2-D2 successfully completing the mission he was given by Princess Leia. And we do know that he lived past the encounter with the stormtroopers, thus leaving his fate open-ended. So it’s very possible that he could still be around a decade or so later, so timeline-wise he could easily fit into the show. Additionally, Making Star Wars has reported that Tatooine does indeed appear to be a location in the show. It’d be kind of disappointing if we find out that R5 never actually made it off the planet, but we’ll have to see what happens.
As for this image, it’s possible that it’s just another droid that looks just like R5… but the fact that Favreau shared the image, and the fact that the droid looks exactly like R5-D4, suggests that it’s very possible we could be seeing the droid show up again! That’d be pretty cool, as long as there’s a good explanation for it, and I’d love to see more of R5!